Author Topic: Federal Election Committee Shuts Down for 2020 Elections  (Read 3535 times)

Wayward Son

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Federal Election Committee Shuts Down for 2020 Elections
« on: August 28, 2019, 10:33:47 AM »
Well, not exactly shuts down.  It will still take reports of violations and the filings of candidates detailing their contributions and expenditures.  But it will no longer be able to act upon that information.  It will no longer be able to enact new laws or enforce election laws.

This is because Matthew Petersen is resigning.  Once he's gone, there will be only three members on the six member committee, not enough for a quorum.  So no new rules, and no actions to punish those who break the rules.

Fortunately, Trump has already nominated a replacement: Texas lawyer Trey Trainor.  Unfortunately, he was nominated back in 2017, and the Senate has not gotten around to confirming his nomination yet.

So with further Russian (and doubtlessly others) interference with our elections looming on the horizon (or right next to us, depending on what they are doing), one more guardian of our democracy has been hamstrung by Trump and the Senate.  Great work, boys!  Let's hear it for free-for-all elections! ::)

Seriati

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Re: Federal Election Committee Shuts Down for 2020 Elections
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2019, 10:39:46 AM »
Trump is behind on that, he should have nominated 6 commissioners, as should have Obama (who nominated only 3, only 2 of which took seats and none of which are still on the commission).  But I don't get leaving out the real blame, which is on the Senate Dems, who've insisted on delaying every nomination by Trump to the maximum extent possible, forcing the majority to ruthlessly prioritize which they are willing to force through.

D.W.

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Re: Federal Election Committee Shuts Down for 2020 Elections
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2019, 11:49:42 AM »
Reporting I heard yesterday made it sound like Bush had not made sufficient appointments, Obama none, Trump 1, who was stalled.  It sure sounds like zero interest all around to have cops on this beat.  How odd...

Crunch

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Re: Federal Election Committee Shuts Down for 2020 Elections
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2019, 03:26:17 PM »
Setting up for the loss already! 

Wayward Son

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Re: Federal Election Committee Shuts Down for 2020 Elections
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2019, 06:05:35 PM »
Reporting I heard yesterday made it sound like Bush had not made sufficient appointments, Obama none, Trump 1, who was stalled.  It sure sounds like zero interest all around to have cops on this beat.  How odd...

That would have been a fair criticism, if it had been accurate.

I checked out the Wikipedia page and it listed the current and former members of the FEC.  The two that resigned prior to Petersen were Lee E. Goodman (who resigned in 2018) and Ann M. Ravel (who resigned in 2017).  Both were nominated by Obama.

The other members were all appointed by George W. Bush, and were hanging on past their terms waiting for replacements.  So this is a case where Trump could have replaced the entire board, if he chose to do so.

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But I don't get leaving out the real blame, which is on the Senate Dems, who've insisted on delaying every nomination by Trump to the maximum extent possible, forcing the majority to ruthlessly prioritize which they are willing to force through.

How do you figure that the Democrats have "the real blame?"  They have been delaying the nomination of judges just like the Republicans had done to Obama for this entire term,  mainly because the Senate is trying to pack the courts with far-right judges.  But I doubt they have delayed the FEC nomination.

Except, maybe, for one little detail.  The FEC is supposed to have 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats on the board.  Currently, there are 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat and 1 Independent (i.e. non-Republican) on the board.  If Trainor was confirmed, that would have given the Republicans a majority.  So the Senate Democrats may have been waiting for a Democratic nominee to confirm at the same time to keep the board balanced.

But if they were waiting for Trump to nominate a Democrat when not doing so would give the Republicans an advantage, well, it's no wonder that they had to wait. :)

Seriati

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Re: Federal Election Committee Shuts Down for 2020 Elections
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2019, 10:04:31 AM »
That would have been a fair criticism, if it had been accurate.

I checked out the Wikipedia page and it listed the current and former members of the FEC.  The two that resigned prior to Petersen were Lee E. Goodman (who resigned in 2018) and Ann M. Ravel (who resigned in 2017).  Both were nominated by Obama.

As I pointed out above, both Obama and Trump were entitled to appoint ALL 6, Obama nominated 3 in 8 years, Trump 1 in less than 3 years.  Only 2 of Obama's were seated and both resigned before people over staying their term from before Obama.

So it seems an odd criticism to lay at Trump's feet, even if it is correct that he should nominate 6.  Of course, then the claim will be that we don't have a fair election because "Trump's handpicked FEC Commissioners" are the ones in charge.  Kind of a no win there.

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But I don't get leaving out the real blame, which is on the Senate Dems, who've insisted on delaying every nomination by Trump to the maximum extent possible, forcing the majority to ruthlessly prioritize which they are willing to force through.

How do you figure that the Democrats have "the real blame?"

Well there's lot of reasons, many of which you are in your full knowledge.  I even think we have a thread discussion where I pretty decisively demonstrated based on history that the Dems lead the way in upping the ante on filibusters of appointments (though you distracted yourself by confusing the issue with an earlier Republican increase in filibusters that weren't of appointments).  Then Dems triggered the new cycle of nuclear option revisions.  Then they copied the Republican tactic of using strategic delays to slow critical appointments to apply to all appointments regardless of controversy. 

The lastest tactic of course is to insist on 30 hours of senate floor debate for every nomination, which as I previously noted would mean that the entire session of the Senate wouldn't be enough to approve the nominees that are required to be approved (there's something like 900 that get confirmed).  With nearly a week of floor debate on each no administration could ever function.

So yes the Dems are responsible.  Like always they treat EVERYTHING as if its the only important thing.

Are the Republicans saints?  Not hardly, but they clearly had to prioritize who they forced votes on.  And now they changed the debate rules to only require 2 hours (which is a disservice on important appointments that gets swept into the only way to deal with obstruction on non-controversial appointments).

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They have been delaying the nomination of judges just like the Republicans had done to Obama for this entire term,  mainly because the Senate is trying to pack the courts with far-right judges.

Are they?  Walk me through the judicial philosophies of 10 "far right" justices that were being forced through.  The fact is most Republican appointees only sin is believing in applying the law neutrally.  Find a judge issuing a national injunction that ignores the Constitution, always going to be a Democratic appointee.  Find a judge that overturns a valid law to favor a social cause, always going to be a Democratic appointee.  Find a judge that orders something beyond the power of the courts under the Constitution, always going to be a Democratic appointee.

So forgive for not agreeing to your lie here.  Republicans fast tracking judges that will follow the law is a good thing.  If it turns a corner and they fast track or appoint conservative activists who are looking to overrule valid laws based on their religious views, I'll help remove them myself.

Until you can make a case about the judges appointed by Democrats actually following the law your complaint has no merit to me.

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Except, maybe, for one little detail.  The FEC is supposed to have 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats on the board.  Currently, there are 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat and 1 Independent (i.e. non-Republican) on the board.  If Trainor was confirmed, that would have given the Republicans a majority.  So the Senate Democrats may have been waiting for a Democratic nominee to confirm at the same time to keep the board balanced.

There are paired nomination concerns for sure.  Its' supposed to be balanced.  No idea if he was appointed to break the balance or because they knew who was wanting to come off.  May just need to remove them all and replace all 6 on a single vote.

Wayward Son

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Re: Federal Election Committee Shuts Down for 2020 Elections
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2019, 05:56:26 PM »
That would have been a fair criticism, if it had been accurate.

I checked out the Wikipedia page and it listed the current and former members of the FEC.  The two that resigned prior to Petersen were Lee E. Goodman (who resigned in 2018) and Ann M. Ravel (who resigned in 2017).  Both were nominated by Obama.

As I pointed out above, both Obama and Trump were entitled to appoint ALL 6, Obama nominated 3 in 8 years, Trump 1 in less than 3 years.  Only 2 of Obama's were seated and both resigned before people over staying their term from before Obama.

So it seems an odd criticism to lay at Trump's feet, even if it is correct that he should nominate 6.  Of course, then the claim will be that we don't have a fair election because "Trump's handpicked FEC Commissioners" are the ones in charge.  Kind of a no win there.

That's a fair criticism.  Only points I'd make is that, with the Russian interference in our elections, Trump should be especially careful about making sure our elections are fair.  And that the "no win" scenario would also apply to anything Obama might have tried.

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But I don't get leaving out the real blame, which is on the Senate Dems, who've insisted on delaying every nomination by Trump to the maximum extent possible, forcing the majority to ruthlessly prioritize which they are willing to force through.

How do you figure that the Democrats have "the real blame?"

Well there's lot of reasons, many of which you are in your full knowledge.  I even think we have a thread discussion where I pretty decisively demonstrated based on history that the Dems lead the way in upping the ante on filibusters of appointments (though you distracted yourself by confusing the issue with an earlier Republican increase in filibusters that weren't of appointments).  Then Dems triggered the new cycle of nuclear option revisions.  Then they copied the Republican tactic of using strategic delays to slow critical appointments to apply to all appointments regardless of controversy. 

The latest tactic of course is to insist on 30 hours of senate floor debate for every nomination, which as I previously noted would mean that the entire session of the Senate wouldn't be enough to approve the nominees that are required to be approved (there's something like 900 that get confirmed).  With nearly a week of floor debate on each no administration could ever function.

So yes the Dems are responsible.  Like always they treat EVERYTHING as if its the only important thing.

Are the Republicans saints?  Not hardly, but they clearly had to prioritize who they forced votes on.  And now they changed the debate rules to only require 2 hours (which is a disservice on important appointments that gets swept into the only way to deal with obstruction on non-controversial appointments).

And why are there 900 nominations?  It's because Republicans obstructed Obamas appointments left and right.  That's why the Democrats decided to end the filibuster for judicial appointments--because hardly any of them were getting through.

Ah, but now because they are using another parliamentary trick, which only slows down the appointments and not stops them dead like the filibuster--now suddenly they are completely to blame!  ::)

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They have been delaying the nomination of judges just like the Republicans had done to Obama for this entire term,  mainly because the Senate is trying to pack the courts with far-right judges.

Are they?  Walk me through the judicial philosophies of 10 "far right" justices that were being forced through.  The fact is most Republican appointees only sin is believing in applying the law neutrally.  Find a judge issuing a national injunction that ignores the Constitution, always going to be a Democratic appointee.  Find a judge that overturns a valid law to favor a social cause, always going to be a Democratic appointee.  Find a judge that orders something beyond the power of the courts under the Constitution, always going to be a Democratic appointee.

So forgive for not agreeing to your lie here.  Republicans fast tracking judges that will follow the law is a good thing.  If it turns a corner and they fast track or appoint conservative activists who are looking to overrule valid laws based on their religious views, I'll help remove them myself.

Until you can make a case about the judges appointed by Democrats actually following the law your complaint has no merit to me.

Show me a judge who says he is ignoring the Constitution, and I'll show you a judge whose rulings are overturned by the appeals court. :)  NO judge believes he is ignoring the Constitution.  ALL judges try to apply the law neutrally.  ALL judges will overturn laws if they determine that they are unfair, even if it is a "social cause."  ALL judges do only what they can within what they believe is the power of the Court.

Conversely, both Liberal and Conservative courts have overturned state laws and federal statues.

Judging whether a judge is not "neutral," "ignores the Constitution," "overturns valid law in favor of a social cause," and going "beyond the powers of the courts under the Constitution" is almost always a value judgement, one which is not agreed upon by all judges or legal scholars.  The main reason you believe these things about Democratic appointees is that you have a certain perceptual bias of how the law should work, in your opinion.  And with that bias, I don't see how I can show you that what you think is unconstitutional is actually allowed by the Constitution, or that it is appropriate to overturn a valid law.  Because the judges of all these cases have provided their reasoning, and if you don't agree with the reasoning (even if many, if not most, judicial scholars may agree), there is no way I can convince you.

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Except, maybe, for one little detail.  The FEC is supposed to have 3 Republicans and 3 Democrats on the board.  Currently, there are 2 Republicans, 1 Democrat and 1 Independent (i.e. non-Republican) on the board.  If Trainor was confirmed, that would have given the Republicans a majority.  So the Senate Democrats may have been waiting for a Democratic nominee to confirm at the same time to keep the board balanced.

There are paired nomination concerns for sure.  Its' supposed to be balanced.  No idea if he was appointed to break the balance or because they knew who was wanting to come off.  May just need to remove them all and replace all 6 on a single vote.

Let's hope Trump does something like that.  Because an electoral watchdog with no teeth is useless.  And right now, we need all the watchdogs we can get.

Seriati

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Re: Federal Election Committee Shuts Down for 2020 Elections
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2019, 07:08:49 PM »
That's a fair criticism.  Only points I'd make is that, with the Russian interference in our elections, Trump should be especially careful about making sure our elections are fair.  And that the "no win" scenario would also apply to anything Obama might have tried.

I'll quibble there, I don't think anyone would have noticed or criticized Obama real time.  Now they would have if the resulting commission was in any way perceived as acting unfairly.  If Trump tries to appoint 6, the headlines the next day are going to be about Trump trying to manipulate the election.

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And why are there 900 nominations?  It's because Republicans obstructed Obamas appointments left and right.  That's why the Democrats decided to end the filibuster for judicial appointments--because hardly any of them were getting through.

Ummm... there aren't 900 judicial nominations, Trump's total nominations to the Judiciary are under 200.  No every administration has to fill a bunch of positions (something like 4000) of which something like 900 require Senate confirmation.  Trump actually hasn't even nominated all the positions he could.

Republicans did limit Obama's ability to get judicial appointments through in the last 2 years of his second term.  And if Trump's re-elected, and Dems end up in control of the Senate, I doubt he'll get even one nomination approved in that Session.  Are you going on the record now declaring that unacceptable?

Let's be fair, is your entire argument really that the Dems in the Senate are right and correct to be petty and force 30 hours of floor time for uncontroversial nominations, because hey the Republicans were bad in a different way first?  If that's true I don't see how you have any objection to a race to the bottom as each side can always point back to the "last" thing the other side did as a justification.

Judicial activism is a leftist philosophy.  I'd be 100% content to reduce the power of the judiciary to enact policy changes, and to require they comply with the laws.  That's what the right wants in the judges they seek to nominate (for the most part).  I know it gets confusing because of the abortion issue, which is where there are right wing fanatics every bit as bad as the left wingers that want judges that will change the law, but I'm not aware that there is any significant body of judges (or really any) that act activisitically for "right wing issues," and that generally includes those that are pro life.

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Ah, but now because they are using another parliamentary trick, which only slows down the appointments and not stops them dead like the filibuster--now suddenly they are completely to blame!  ::)

Hey's a trick they are entitled to use.  I don't hold them in any more contempt than I did the Senate Republicans when they refused to give Garland a vote (even when I expressly disagreed with that), but it's just silly not to blame them when you are calling out the result of that obstruction.

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Show me a judge who says he is ignoring the Constitution, and I'll show you a judge whose rulings are overturned by the appeals court. :)  NO judge believes he is ignoring the Constitution.  ALL judges try to apply the law neutrally.

Except they don't.  Sotomeyer in her confirmation hearings expressed her philosophy that who a person is should be part of the judge's decision, not just the law.  There's nothing anywhere in the Constitution that gives a nationwide injunction power and it's expressly opposite of judicial rules of conduct that require a court to limit it's ruling to the parties in the matter, and specifically against centuries of SC opinion and dialogue expressly favoring separate decisions in each Circuit to allow for the best decisions to be tested and followed.

Any judge that over rules the executive branch on a matter of executive authority is violating the separation of powers, and that's expressly happened on multiple occasions and always by an Obama or Clinton judge in the 9th circuit. 

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ALL judges will overturn laws if they determine that they are unfair, even if it is a "social cause."

False, liberal judges overturn laws the deem "unfair," conservative ones only if the law itself is unConstitutional or illegal.

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ALL judges do only what they can within what they believe is the power of the Court.

Again false, some judges do what they can get away with and are only called to account by being overturned.  If you actually read enough opinions you'd see plenty of instances where judges ignore the law, or grossly exceed their power.

I mean take a look at the recent redistricting cases.  The SC has been overwhelmingly clear as a matter of history that judges are not the right people to do redistricting.  Pretty much every single case that a district court has taken and ruled on violates what they know are the powers of the court.  So why do they do it?  Simple, they can get the order in place and force it through the election knowing full well that if it's overturned it will be too late and the results allowed to stand.

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Conversely, both Liberal and Conservative courts have overturned state laws and federal statues.

This is not "conversely."  This is just nonsense trying to pretend there is an equivalence.  Overturning a law because it doesn't comport with a "living Constitution," (which is interpretted in the Justice's whim) is activism, over turning a law because it violates the written text of the Constitution is not.  Pretending that the number of "overturns" free from the reasoning is an accurate measure of activism is just nonsense designed to try and steal the power of a term, "judicial activism," by pretending - as your second link openly states that's code for "decisions I don't like."

Every single legal philosophy that charges judges with a duty to expand or rewrite a law or to reinterpret a Constitutional provision for the modern age is a usurpation of the legislative power and they are uniformly philosophies that occur exclusively in the judges appointed by the left.

It's just counterfactual to claim that the conservative judges expand the laws in the same way or on the same basis.  That's before you even get into the false idea that only "overturning a law" is activism, when the vast majority is reinterpretation to make laws mean something completely different, or even something contrary.

Want to see it in operation today?  Take a look at Title IX, designed to provide an equal opportunity to women to have access to sports and opportunities for scholarships in sports, it's increasingly being used by activists on LGBTQ issues to take those opportunities away in favor of trans-atheletes.  Whether you favor that or not, its a farce to claim that was what the law Congress passed requires.  It's up to Congress to correct this based on the political will, not to judges to decide such a complex issue for us all.

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Judging whether a judge is not "neutral," "ignores the Constitution," "overturns valid law in favor of a social cause," and going "beyond the powers of the courts under the Constitution" is almost always a value judgement, one which is not agreed upon by all judges or legal scholars.

It's not as difficult as you think.  The problem is that there are many activist lawyers as well.  I mean Larry Tribe's a great example, he knows some of the positions he takes publically are anti-Constitutional, he's a been a Constitutional law professor and he taught the exact opposite for years.  So why does he do it?  He's an activist and he can use his position to give cover to and legitimize activism.  But don't confuse yourself into believing he's too stupid to see it.

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The main reason you believe these things about Democratic appointees is that you have a certain perceptual bias of how the law should work, in your opinion.

No, it's because I study the law and can recognize the reality.  You're just assuming that I'm always strictly against activism.  I'm not, I against unconstrained activism that leads to every district court judge believing they can overrule the President on national security because of their politics.

There's a great example out there on judicial activism.  Roe v. Wade.  The opinion is poor and not well reasoned, it's pretty close to junk, so why has it survived the test of time?  Quite simply it solved an irresolvable political issue to get to the result the population wanted.  They wanted abortion legal but not free from constraint and that's where the issue was left.  At the time no politician could have gotten that result, it was literal political suicide.

Is what is largely an ends justifying the means process a good thing?  In that case I think so, but I couldn't say it was the right legal thing.

On the other hand, do I put that on the same plain as saving ObamaCare on a tax technicality (not a chance, that was just a farce), or a judge ordering DACA to continue (DACA is pretty clearly unConstitutional in the first instance, but was absoluely a matter of Executive discretion as formed, so how can it not be an executive discretion to terminate it)? 

Deciding that a result is good, and how we got there under the law doesn't matter has consequences.  It's only a matter of time until we have a District Court issue a national injunction overruling another DC's national injunction (which is an impossibility).  It's only a matter of time before some extreme conservative finds a judge that shouldn't be in office that is just as radical as the dozens that shouldn't be in office from the left to issue national injunctions on anti-liberal topics.  What happens when they issue a national order prohbiting gender preference in bathrooms, or ordering the deportation of every illegal alien, or even ruling abortion after some point to be illegal, or barring CA's standards on pollution?

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And with that bias, I don't see how I can show you that what you think is unconstitutional is actually allowed by the Constitution, or that it is appropriate to overturn a valid law.  Because the judges of all these cases have provided their reasoning, and if you don't agree with the reasoning (even if many, if not most, judicial scholars may agree), there is no way I can convince you.

You could actually cite to the judge and the opinions that show them doing so.  I've read hundreds if not thousands of judicial opinions and dissents, and I've certainly found many times where I agreed or disagreed with a result and thought the underlying rationale was flawed, or where I've found the position of the liberal justices better reasoned.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2019, 07:19:14 PM by Seriati »